Every day, Google+ gets better, especially if you’re doing business online. And if you want to amplify your visibility and message to a wider audience, well, there’s no better social platform on the Web. IMHO.
Let me demonstrate for you the power of using a platform with so many integrated elements, by sharing a sequence of events and posts that have been creating a lot of buzz for the last four days (from the date of this post).
First, if you’re at all confused about the what and why of using Google+, here’s a great overview Stephan Hovnanian posted on Facebook in response to a “I don’t Google+” comment:
Google+ is a social layer that sits on top of all Google’s products (search, Gmail, YouTube, the ads you see on web pages, everything). Connecting your Google account to your various social profiles, blog posts, etc. allows Google to learn what you know the most about, so it can recommend you to other users looking for the same thing.
The social network part of Google+ lets you connect with other people who share the same interests as you do, build relationships with them, and see what they recommend. It’s all about building a huge trust engine so when you search for something, you see the best possible site and not those spammy-looking sites that have tried to “game” the search engine for the last ten years. And yes, it’s a little freaky to allow a single company to mine that much data on you, but at the same time they have much stricter privacy controls than Facebook, and are pretty transparent about what your personal information can be used for.
How Google+ Can Spread Your Message Far and Wide
On November 15 I hosted Adventures in Visibility, a Google Hangout on Air, with Mike Allton, an expert on using Hootsuite. The live video streamed on the Google+ Event page I set up to promote the interview.
After the Hangout, Mike Allton wrote a terrific recap of the Hangout and posted it on his blog The Social Media Hat.
Mike posted the link on Google+ and shared it with the Public…
You can see that post got, and continues to get, a fair bit of engagement: +1s, comments and shares. That could have something to do with the fun meme image created by Jeff Sieh.
Now here’s where it goes crazy…
The day after the Hangout, I received an email from my colleague, Joan Stewart, also known as The Publicity Hound. Like the good publicist she is, Joan let me know she had written a blog post about the Hangout, and then, she suggested I consider her for a guest spot on Adventures in Visibility.
Take note: she suggested a topic and backed it up with a video tutorial to demonstrate what she wanted to share with my audience. Of course that piqued my interest and it’s a tip you can easily implement too, when you are contacting people about being on their webcasts, Hangouts and podcasts.
OK, now I’m interested. I click on Joan’s Pinterest board and I watch the tutorial video and post a comment.
The comment creates a new post on my Google+ profile…
What? Yes, that’s the new feature introduced by Google to integrate Google+ and YouTube: if your profile is connected to Google+, comments you post on YouTube will be posted on your G+ profile (if you allow it). Very, very cool!
By posting a comment on Joan’s video, on YouTube, and showing up publicly on my Google+ profile, many of the people who follow me were introduced to Joan Stewart for the first time and went crazy for her outstanding free publicity tips. Be sure to check out the comments. Concurrently, I shared Joan’s blog post about Mike Allton’s blog post about our Hangout, on Google and that began to spread as well. Be sure to read this introduction from Stephan Hovnanian’s share. He adds a great tip.
Days later, the Hangout and blog posts continue to spin around Google+ as more and more people are introduced to the content. And what I outlined is only the tip of the ice berg. I’m sure there are many more shares than I know about.
So what does this do for YOU?
You may be wondering why this makes me a Google Fangirl and what this example can reveal for you.
I LOVE how activity throughout the Googleverse shows up in so many places. One comment on a YouTube video created a cascade of new followers for all involved (Joan, Mike and me, among others). Every comment and share creates more blog traffic, which creates more comments and new subscribers and fans. If you have Google+ Comments plugin installed on your blog, then all those new comments are posted on G+… and it goes on and on.
At the very essence of all of this though, is community engagement. Without that, none of the above visibility-creating activity would have been possible.
Six months ago I didn’t know and had never heard of Stephan Hovnanian (thank you for the introduction Chris Lang!) or Mike Allton, and the many others who have commented and shared this content. Now, I consider them friends. Though we’ve never met in person, I learned quickly that these guys and so many others, are smart and generous. They make it fun and easy to stay connected. I learn from all of them every day.
My suggestion to you is this: start following everyone I’ve mentioned in this post. Their names are linked to their Google+ profiles where you will learn more and can dive in to their fantastic content. Follow. Read. +1. Comment. Share. That’s how you’re going to get the most out of Google+ and meet many outstanding people.
By the way, as a result of Joan Stewart’s email to me, I’ve invited her to join me on an Adventure in Visibility in December. I’ve known Joan for about 8 years, though we haven’t connected for awhile. She’s a pro at getting free publicity and we’re going to talk about that and how you can repurpose your content for more visibility and more publicity.
To get reminders about when Adventures are scheduled and when replays are posted, you can get on the list and follow me on Google+. Be sure to let me know you want to be added to my Adventures in Visibility Notification Circle so you get the invitation directly through Google+.